Default – 335635 Words
New 10L 79S SPLASHDOWN
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The entry SLAVE and phrases that contain SLAVE make me uncomfortable. Appropriate clue options can generally be found, but I’m not as apt to give these phases fill scores comparable to other multi-word phrases. I’ll share an embarrassing personal story associated with the word: My company used to organize annual programs to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The programs would typically included a guest speaker, a luncheon and a rendition of the African-American national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” While glancing at the song sheet handed out for the attendees at one of these programs, I noticed that the initial letters of the title could be anagrammed to form the word SLAVE, and to this day that anagram remains etched in my mind as an inappropriate but effective mnemonic device for remembering the title.
This entry makes me smile. Ginsberg confirms that it appeared in the New York Times, so it ended up in Default through CRUCIVERB. The entry, from a Joe DiPietro 2000 Sunday puzzle, is something of a retronym that implies the popularity and prevalence of group puzzle solving. Intimate cosolving of newspaper crosswords is a time-honored tradition, though I tend to think of group solving in contemporary contexts such as extravaganzas or the pairs division at the Lollapuzzoola tournament. The phrase SOLOSOLVER is also a nice repeated trigram deletion base.